I had the honour of interviewing a well known retired Purser.
She gave us a few tips on packing efficiently without forgetting anything or having to sit on suitcases. She also shared how not to carry the entire kitchen sink and end up lugging a million bags of stuff you don’t need. It’s a hassle to pack if you don’t know how to or if you are just a forgetful person like me.
How do we make sure we don’t forget items?
Well, this depends on what kind of a traveler you are. I was a frequent flyer so I had a few things that I always carried in my work suitcase. I never took them out, probably just to be cleaned and back.
If you are a frequent flyer my advice is that you buy your items in doubles.
That travelling bag should always have a spare pair of pyjamas, a toilet bag, a pair of slippers and what you think is important. They should not be taken out.
Before you start packing, write a list.
Every single time. That will help you not have those oops moments of forgetting your knickers, which is very common. The first items on your list should be your documents, like your passport, yellow fever certificate and any other travelling documents.
How do we avoid over packing?
Well, this depends on your destination and the weather forecast. So if you are taking a 5 day holiday to the tropics, here is what your luggage should look like.
2 pairs of jeans
Assorted t-shirts and vests
A pair of sandals to add on to the pair of sneakers that you may be wearing to travel.
An extra pair of socks.
Underwear and toiletries.
Evening attire for dinner.
Many blouses and vests.
2 pairs of sandals.
Sweater or shawl.
What else should we remember?
- Roll your clothes as you place them in the suitcase – it takes less space.
- Now for lotions…squeeze out the air first and then close tight. That way they don’t pressurize when flying. Put them in a plastic bag to be on the safe side.
- Always remember to carry medication, it could be painkillers or your ongoing medication. For some flights you may need to carry a doctor’s letter or prescription to get those medications through customs.
- For perfumes and glass bottles, wrap them in a newspaper or wrap them in a towel to avoid breakage.
- Now for them who may be carrying unga ( flour) do the same, wrap them in a newspaper and then put them in a carrier bag.
- When you are done packing, weigh your bag with a scale to avoid the embarrassment of offloading an overweight bag at the airport.
What advice would you give us specifically for air travel?
- Follow the rules (including fine print) which you can find on the airport website.
- Always buy your excess luggage allowance in advance online. It can cost more than double at the airport.
- Tag your luggage with unique tags. Do not put your name and address on it for security purposes. Better yet get unique outrageous colours of suitcases. Trust me, it helps. You can find them on our Mumsvillage info centre or check out kings collection for a variety.
- Carry your toiletries in a bag that you can reach easily to freshen up before you arrive.
- For mothers it is advisable to carry your own baby food, just in case the plane or bus don’t serve what your child eats.
- Do not give the steward or stewardess you baby’s feeding items to clean..do it yourself.
- Pack your own bag it’s a common question at the airport. So do it right.
- For vegetarians or travellers with allergies carry a sandwich or something to eat just in case.